The Knight Foundation and the TurboVote Initiative

WDET's Craig Fahle speaks with the Knight Foundation's Detroit Program Director, Rishi S. Jaitly, Seth Flaxman, Founder of TurboVote, and Matthew Norfleet, Student Body President at Eastern Michigan University, to discuss the Turbo Vote Initiative, an online platform for registering, finding election information, and voting by mail. Wayne State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Marygrove College, and Eastern Michigan University have all signed on to launch the service, which aims to make voting as convenient as renting a Netflix DVD to their students, faculty and staff.

TurboVote simplifies the process so that voters can focus on the candidates and important ballot questions. Here’s how it works.

  • When voters sign up at, the system checks their registration status.
  • Voters can then request that a pre-filled voter-registration form or vote-by-mail application be sent to them in the mail. The form is delivered with a stamped, pre-addressed envelope, so it’s easy to sign and drop in the mail.
  • When local election authorities receive the vote-by-mail application, they send the voter a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election.


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About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit